Grove City Record

Council OKs deal for new library at Town Center

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While one aspect of the redevelopment of Grove City's Town Center is still being finalized, another element of the plan took another step closer to fruition this week.

On Monday, May 6, City Council voted unanimously to authorize City Administrator Chuck Boso to enter the city into an agreement with Southwest Public Libraries for the relocation of the Grove City Public Library from 3359 Park St. to the intersection of Broadway and Grant Avenue.

The legislation passed as an emergency measure.

"I feel this is exactly what public dollars and partnerships should be," Boso said. "We feel it's a great project to be a part of and something we can be proud of."

The project is estimated to cost $14 million, with the new 48,000 square-foot building itself and all its furnishings and equipment being $10.8 million and the remaining $3.2 million being used for land acquisition, parking, demolition and other costs.

Under the terms of the agreement, the library will contribute a total of $2 million upfront for the project. In addition, when the library has relocated, Southwest Public Libraries will deed its existing Park Street property to the city, the appraised value of which is $2.5 million.

That will leave $9.5 million to be financed through 30-year city-issued bonds with an estimated interest rate of 3.75 percent. The city and the library will split the cost of the debt service, each paying $265,087.50 annually, or $22,091 per month.

For 30 years, the city will lease the site to the library and then deed the property to the library at the end of that term.

Southwest Public Libraries Director Mark Shaw said while the library board of trustees approved the financial plan in principle last month, the board will vote on this final agreement at its next meeting, Tuesday, May 14.

"We look forward to being partners with the city," he said.

The exterior of the new building must comply with the Town Center design and zoning requirements, but the library will select and supervise the architect and have complete control of the building's interior.

Council previously authorized the purchasing of the land for the new library: houses at 3418 and 3422 Grant Ave. and commercial property at 3959-3963 and 3951 Broadway.

City Law Director Stephen Smith said the city has closed on one of the houses and must close on the commercial property by Friday, May 17, hence the need for passing the ordinance as emergency legislation.

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